Phil Mickelson in dominant form; Graeme McDowell set to miss the cut

Phil Mickelson in dominant form; Graeme McDowell set to miss the cut
Phil Mickelson was enjoying another good round at Royal Troon on Friday.

Phil Mickelson was within inches of a hole-in-one on Royal Troon's famous 'Postage Stamp' as he continued to dominate the Open Championship on Friday.

Mickelson took a three-shot lead into the second round after coming agonisingly close to making history on day one, the 46-year-old's birdie putt to record the first 62 in major championship history catching the edge of the cup on the 18th and staying out.

The resulting 63 was the 28th such score in majors and the first in the Open since Rory McIlroy's opening round at St Andrews in 2010, which the Northern Irishman famously followed with an 80 in winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour which forced play to be suspended.

Mickelson was in no danger of suffering such a fate as a testing early breeze - in the opposite direction than on Thursday - swiftly died down and allowed the five-time major winner to almost reach the par-five fourth in two.

After two-putting from long range for birdie, Mickelson also holed from five feet on the seventh and then saw his tee shot on the eighth spin back to within inches of the hole to leave the simplest of birdie putts.

At 11 under par Mickelson enjoyed a five-shot lead before Henrik Stenson closed the gap with his fourth birdie in the space of five holes on the seventh, with defending champion Zach Johnson joining the Swede on seven under with a birdie on the eighth.

Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen, who was seventh in the Masters in April, was a shot further back with four holes to play, while American Tony Finau had set the early clubhouse target of four under after adding a 71 to his opening 67.

In contrast, 2003 Open champion Ben Curtis had taken 10 on the par-four third after needing three shots to escape from a fairway bunker and two more from another beside the green on the 379-yard hole.

Players and caddies were wearing black ribbons in honour of the victims of the terror attack in Nice on Thursday evening, while the French flag on the top of the grandstand on the 18th hole was flying at half mast.

Mickelson hacked his way down the 12th to record a first bogey of the week, but responded by holing from 20 feet for birdie on the 14th after his tee shot took a fortunate bounce off the bank of a greenside bunker.

That took him four clear of Ryder Cup partner Keegan Bradley, Stenson, Johnson and Kjeldsen, the latter setting the early target on seven under after adding a 68 to his opening 67.

Former world number one Martin Kaymer had also reached seven under after nine holes, only to run up a triple-bogey seven on the 10th and drop another shot on the next to fall back to three under.

Rory Mc Ilroy doesn't start his round until after 237pm and he's on two under while Padraig Harrington is one under and starts soon.

Darren Clarke is level par after two while Paul Dunne and Shane Lowry are out shortly on six and seven over.

Graeme McDowell will miss the cut after ending four over.

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